Shepherd Offshore begins Demolition and Remediation of the Swans Energy Park Site.
Working with North Tyneside Council, and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP), Shepherd Offshore is delighted to announce progress in its development of the former Swan Hunters Yard. It is Shepherd Offshore’s quest to bring the once leading engineering hub of the Tyne’s shipyards back into operation and create opportunities for the local community and surrounding area. The goal is to breathe fresh life into the land which was once vibrant with energy and activity. Shepherd Offshore’s vision for Swans Energy Park is to turn the former shipyard into an integral part of this strategy, becoming an essential artery for the North Bank of the River Tyne.
In late March 2022, Shepherd Offshore started with phase 1, the demolition and remediation of the vacant Swans Energy Park Office Buildings. Working with local partners, Shepherd Offshore commenced a strategy of responsible remediation with the demolition of the buildings and plans for quay improvements. This has involved gathering intelligence to understand conditions and capabilities, with the aim of enabling the site to become more usable and in some cases modernised and open for business as a critical artery on the North Bank of the River Tyne. The work has been supported by funding from the government’s Getting Building Fund, which was established early in the coronavirus pandemic to kick-start the economy, create jobs and help areas realise growth opportunities coming out of the coronavirus pandemic.
The North East LEP is managing £47m awarded through the Getting Building Fund to support capital investment across the North East.
Shepherd Offshore has worked alongside the North Tyneside Council, North of Tyne Combined Authority and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership. All parties have been crucial in providing support and generating funding for this project alongside Shepherd Offshore. Working with these parties we hope to encourage further investment to Swans Energy Park, as a designated Enterprise Zone in order to support and attract investments.
Metro Mayor Jamie Driscoll said of the project: “The Tyne’s shipyards were once the keystones to this country’s technological progress. It’s great that we could support, with NTCA funding, the reinvention of the former Swan Hunters Yard into a bustling new development for offshore energy – creating new jobs, attracting investment, and marking a new chapter in our region’s industrial history.”
This begins the start of a new chapter in the illustrious history of the site, allowing it to become ready to commence development for end-users, whilst also securing part of the site to become more operational in the short term.
Shepherd Offshore believes Swans Energy Park has a key role to play in supporting a transformative national industrial strategy for the energy sector in the UK and North East. It is also recognised that the importance of large, strategic quayside sites such as Swans Energy Park is needed to secure investment for national energy objectives like the Offshore Wind Sector Deal and ensure that opportunities for skilled jobs relating to the offshore, subsea and marine workforce are realised locally. The site currently is approximately 32 acres with existing access to heavy load routes, deep water quayside frontage and a wet berth facility. These facilities have been used by several vessels and projects since Shepherd Offshore’s acquirement of the land, with two projects currently berthed at the site.
The regeneration of Neptune Energy Park (NEP) is particularly notable for its similarities to the Swan Energy Park site, representing a successful regeneration story from a vacant ex-industrial site to a world-class manufacturing and education cluster of established companies who are tenants on a site owned and operated by Shepherd Offshore.
Upon completion of phase 1, this will hopefully lead to the next stage, phase 2, which will be wider site remediation and site modernisation. This phase will be the modernisation of the Swans Energy Park site assets/infrastructure, enabling a suitable development platform to be established. The long-term vision is to create a development platform at Swans Energy Park that could be connected to Neptune Energy Park endorsing capabilities and connectivity of the assets and client base on the River Tyne.
Bruce Shepherd, Chairman, Shepherd Offshore, had this to say on the project: “Shepherd Offshore’s plan is to remain supportive to the River Tyne North Bank Strategic Development Framework Plan (SDFP) by continuing to develop critical infrastructure and capacity, allowing the attraction of world-class manufacturing and job creation. The Company’s strategy is to attract businesses associated within the offshore, subsea, marine and energy sectors to the former Swan Hunter site to continue enhancing the region’s expertise and expanding the region’s blue economy”.
Helen Golightly OBE, chief executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “When complete, the Swans Energy Park will expand opportunities for businesses working in the offshore energy, subsea and marine sectors, and bring significant investment to the region. Its status as an Enterprise Zone will provide the right environment for new and existing businesses to grow, and its proximity to both the Neptune Energy Park and Offshore Technology Park will increase connectivity across the sector and boost local supply chains.
“Developments along the River Tyne are helping to bring more and better jobs to the region, and the creation of the Tyne Taskforce has cemented our collective ambition to position the Tyne as a global destination for offshore energy.
“The Swan Hunter shipyard has a very long and proud history in our region, and its legacy will continue as it goes on to support the next generation of industry in the North East.”